pulvinus (L.) = cushion. Referring to the growth-form, with the plants forming dense cushions.
WCM Protologue Reference:
Esterh., Bothalia 15: 457 (1985)
Vegetative parts: plants tangled (Forming cushions and dense tangled masses), 0.2–0.3 m tall, with stolons. Fertile culms branching, finely rugulose, olivaceous, 0.2–0.4 m tall, diameter at base 0.3–0.9 mm, diameter at apex 0.1–0.3 mm. Sheaths closely convoluted, 3–10 mm long, brown, apical margins narrowly membranous, hyaline shoulders small, rounded or membranous margins continuing behind awn, hyaline shoulder 0.2–0.3 of sheath body length, apex, excluding the membranous lobes, acute or obtuse. Sheath-mucro penicellate, straight and erect, 0.5–1.5 mm long, sheaths obscure, apical portion soon decaying leaving a more or less truncate relic. Males: male inflorescence with 1 spikelet or 2–5 spikelets (rarely two), racemose, 4–10 mm long, 2–4 mm wide. Male inflorescence spathes persistent, like the floral bracts, coriaceous, difficult to tell from the bracts. Male flowers in spikelets. Male spikelets erect on stiff pedicels or sessile, elliptical or obovate, apex rounded, 3–5 mm, 2–3 mm, with 2–4 flowers, pedicels absent ie spikelets sessile. Male bracts as tall as flowers, 2–3 mm long, oblong, obtuse or apiculate, cartilaginous, bract upper margin membranous, thinner texture than the body or with honeycombed cells, which eventually decay, bract awn minute or absent, membranous upper margin soon decaying. Male flower 2–2.5 mm long. Male tepals sepals more rigid than petals, cartilaginous, petals chartaceous or membranous, oblong, inner and outer tepals the same length. Male outer lateral tepals conduplicate, keel sparsely villous. Anthers 1.2–1.5 mm long, exserted from the flowers. Pistillode present. Females: female inflorescence with 1 spikelet. Female spathes shorter than the spikelets, persistent, coriaceous. Female spikelet sessile, elliptical or obovate, apex rounded, 3–5 mm long, with 1–2 flowers, with 3–6 sterile bracts. Female bracts as tall as flowers, 2.5–3.5 mm long, oblong or ovate, acute, cartilaginous, apical margin with honeycombed cells, same as body of bract, awn minute or absent. Female flower 2.5–3 mm long, without a fleshy pedicel. Female tepals cartilaginous, keels of lateral sepals sparsely villous, midrib flush with the tepal body, apices acute, inner and outer whorls the same length. Female outer lateral tepals conduplicate, 2.5–3 mm long. Female odd outer tepal oblong, 2.5–2.8 mm long. Female inner tepals ovate, 2–2.5 mm long. Staminodes present. Styles feathery, 3. Style bases free. Ovary with 2 locules, dehiscent. Fruit: seed 1–1.24 mm long, 0.7–0.84 mm in diameter, shape in side view elliptical, shape in diameter rectangular in cross section or triangular in cross section or plano-convex in cross section, brown (quite reddish), smooth.